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Economic development, housing manager to depart Menlo Park

Original post made on Apr 11, 2018

After heading Menlo Park's economic development office for a little over five years, and the housing office for more than two, Jim Cogan will leave Menlo Park to become assistant city manager for the city of Paso Robles.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, April 11, 2018, 8:18 AM

Comments (11)

5 people like this
Posted by Ted
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Apr 11, 2018 at 10:16 am

So what did this guy do?

“Some of the projects he's overseen since he started working with the city: bringing the Off the Grid food truck market to Menlo Park, supporting the new hotel at 1400 El Camino Real, seeing the opening of the British Bankers Club, and instituting the "Wine Walk," a fundraiser for local schools that gathers local winemakers at downtown businesses to offer tastings.”

That’s a meager list of accomplishments. Did we taxpayers get our money’s worth with this guy? All these things were initiated and accomplished by others. The city just gets in the way. We’d be better off if he wasn’t replaced.

1 person likes this
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 11, 2018 at 12:07 pm

Good-bye....1 less city full time employee

Like this comment
Posted by nobody in particular
a resident of Atherton: Lloyden Park
on Apr 11, 2018 at 12:39 pm

Paso Robles - better schools?

1 person likes this
Posted by JRN
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Apr 11, 2018 at 12:55 pm

The issues in Menlo Park stem from the City Council. In FIVE years Mr. Cogan cannot account for anything that solves the challenges most affluent areas are facing. Problem and Issue "solving" is far from any concerns of this City Council (small c).

2 people like this
Posted by Member Name
a resident of another community
on Apr 11, 2018 at 1:48 pm

Re: the schools issue that Nobody in Particular raised, you are probably assuming he lives in MP, and he probably doesn't since he mentioned a commute as a factor. There are a lot of awful schools in the bay area.

2 people like this
Posted by Capt. Edward Smith
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 12, 2018 at 6:32 am

ANOTHER management departure? What's going on over there?

1 person likes this
Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Apr 12, 2018 at 11:40 am

Maybe as a retention perk or a "hiring Bonus" Menlo Park could permit certain city employees to have children attend school in the district. The schools are rated high and that could be a good selling point and a way to retain good employees

3 people like this
Posted by Observer
a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Weekend Acres
on Apr 12, 2018 at 11:57 am

Observer is a registered user.


I ask this, as it's my impression that the City is paying a huge salary and benefits to their Economic Development Manager and only receives a small fraction back in terms of sales tax revenue and/or other benefits. The City may be money ahead with NO one manning this position. In other words, why pay $100 out to only get 50 cents back.

Since the position includes being the City's Housing Manager, this alone may be a full time job, particularly with the huge amount of housing construction underway and also being proposed.

And if this isn't enough, the person holding this position is also saddled with being the City's liaison to the Sister Cities program, with Galway, Ireland and three other so-called Friendship Cities.

No wonder Jim Cogan left the city. Three full time jobs equals 24 hours, leaving no time for sleep, family or personal pursuits.

6 people like this
Posted by W.R.
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Apr 14, 2018 at 12:20 pm

Probably a smart time to leave to leave Menlo Park. We are filled to the brim with traffic.

At last week's Planning Commission meeting most of the Planning Commissioners worried about traffic and expressed wonder if it was time to halt development on the east side of town. According to the Post, the only Planning Commissioner who didn’t express the same concern that development on the east side ought to be halted, was Andrew Barnes.

Menlo Park residents should remember that name, Andrew Barnes, next time you are stuck in traffic, or you see cars cutting through your neighborhood.

7 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 14, 2018 at 2:00 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The east side development should not come as a surprise to anybody - particularly the Planning Commissioners who along with the Council approved the massive rezoning of that area.

"Menlo Park adopts big changes to general plan

by Kate Bradshaw / Almanac

A map of the zoning changes that were approved by the Menlo Park City Council Nov. 29. (Map courtesy city of Menlo Park:

Uploaded: Wed, Nov 30, 2016, 11:36 am

After two years and more than 60 public meetings, a set of policies for what can get built in Menlo Park has been approved by the Menlo Park City Council.

On a 4-1 vote, with Councilman Ray Mueller opposed, the council agreed Nov. 29 to make major changes in the city's general plan for development. The council was scheduled to give final approval to the changes at its meeting on Dec. 6.

Zoning changes in the city's M-2 area (roughly bounded by San Francisco Bay, University Avenue, U.S. 101 and Marsh Road) will allow the construction of 2.3 million additional square feet of nonresidential buildings, 400 hotel rooms and 4,500 residential units.

8 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Apr 14, 2018 at 2:44 pm

Actually Mr. Carpenter, the Planning Commission never approved the General Plan.

"The commission split 2-2 on whether the city's general plan update is OK as is or should be refined to adopt specific measures to address citywide traffic...."

Web Link

Strehl and Riggs voted against the plan, Andrew Barnes and Kahle voted for the plan.

Andrew Barnes argument, why not to worry about traffic, was slightly different during deliberations back then. He said, "There are things in Menlo Park we can control, (and) things we cannot, which require regional work on this."

Katherine Strehl, who chairs the Planning Commission, and Commissioner Henry Riggs didn't quite agree that Menlo Park was doing enough to address transportation problems.

At the time Onken was recused, but now he is back and joining Strehl and Riggs in voicing their concerns about traffic.

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